10 Steps to the Perfect Gift

By Miriam Brown

This may be the season for holiday cheer and goodwill toward men, but fellas, it’s also the season for buying gifts for the special lady in your life. And if you’re like a lot of men, ‘tis also the season for long lines, mayhem at the mall and gifts you carefully select… that she promptly returns the day after Christmas!

Here at Wiles, we understand your frustration, and we’re here to unlock the mystery of choosing the perfect present for the woman who means the most to you.  Simply follow these simple commandments for a man-friendly approach to shopping for her.

1 – Know thy lady.  Every woman is different, so it would be difficult for me to tell you exactly what you should get for the lady in your life.  You know her better than I do and what many women like, your lady may not.  The lesson here is a little common sense goes along way.  Don’t buy her a fur coat if she’s the President of PETA.  Always take her interests and hobbies into consideration.

2 – Do unto her as you would have her do unto you. How would you like it if your lady bought you a nose hair trimmer or Rogaine for Christmas – not too good, right?  Well, the same applies to women. Don’t buy her appearance enhancing or altering gifts like gym memberships or make-up. These gifts say, “You could use this” and usually are not well-received.

3 – Thou shalt not ask. When you ask your woman what she wants, it implies laziness.  Thoughtless gifts take all the pleasure out of gift-giving. The look of surprise on her face when she opens the gift that you so carefully and thoughtfully selected is what all this is for. Don’t take shortcuts. Embrace the reason for the season.

4 – Thou shalt not wait until the last minute. Last-minute gifts reek of desperation.  It’s usually obvious if you select your woman’s gift from the bargain bin on Christmas Eve when the pickings are the slimmest.

5 – Listen to her. The best gift I ever received was a beautiful iron wine rack along with a membership to a wine club.  I had expressed interest once or twice to my significant other at the time in going wine tasting and learning about pairings and such.  The fact that he listened and remembered that I had the desire to become a wine connoisseur was highly impressive and heartwarming.

6 – Think like a lady, shop like a man. Lingerie is the gift that keeps on giving…to YOU.  Unless it’s a nice robe, lingerie is not a hit with the ladies.  Most of it, especially what men select, is not particularly comfortable.  Skip gifts that give you more pleasure than her.

7 – Don’t break the bank. It’s Christmas, not a wedding.  There is no need to overspend during the holidays.  Spend within your means, otherwise she may find it irresponsible that you splurged when you clearly didn’t have the funds.  Typically, less is more.

8 – Be practical. At times, the best gifts are items you can really use, or that you need.  If you’ve noticed her computer keeps crashing unexpectedly, don’t go out and buy your honey a pair of diamond earrings.  It sounds like the right thing to do, but she will be much more appreciative of gifts that are functional and necessary.

9 – Wrap it up. Presentation is everything.  To score extra points, try wrapping the gift yourself.  The more apparent it is that you in fact wrapped it yourself, the better. 

10 – Be creative. When all else fails, be creative.  If you’ve been wracking your brain since Black Friday about what you should get the woman in your life, and you’re still coming up short, don’t give up.  You can make her something memorable with major sentimental value or offer services she’ll love that can be redeemed throughout the year.

Above all else, remember that your gift to her is, in her eyes, a reflection of how you feel about her.  Choosing a gift that communicates that you like, appreciate and value her as a person is a guaranteed winner every time.


Miriam Brown is the founder and creator of Thirtythoughts, a contemporary blog focusing on relationships, career, fashion and entertainment, from a 30-something’s point of view. She currently resides in southern California – moonlighting as a writer and serving the legal community by day.

To read more of her work, please visit: thirtythoughts.wordpress.com

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